DIX, JOHN ADAMS

Future Secretary of the Treasury John Adams Dix ALS to President Franklin Pierce about New York Democratic politics

$600

Item #13847


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DIX, JOHN ADAMS - Future Secretary of the Treasury John Adams Dix ALS to President Franklin Pierce about New York Democratic politics
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DIX, JOHN ADAMS - Future Secretary of the Treasury John Adams Dix ALS to President Franklin Pierce about New York Democratic politics

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Addressed to President Franklin Pierce
 
Dix, John Adams. (1798-1879). Veteran of the War of 1812, Union general, U.S. senator, secretary of the treasury, and New York state governor. ALS. (“John A. Dix”). 1p. 4to. New York, March 14, 1853. To the fourteenth president of the United States Franklin Pierce (1804-1869).
 
Genl. Jas. W. Nye of Syracuse is a candidate for the office of Dist. Atty. Of the Northern Dist. of N.Y. He is a good lawyer, an able advocate, and a man of stern democratic principles. Should the appointment he desires be confirmed on him, he will discharge the duties of the office ably and faithfully...
 
A native of New Hampshire, Dix entered the military at age 14, serving in the War of 1812 and along the Canadian frontier, rising to the rank of captain. After completing his military service, Dix embarked on a law career in New York and became that state’s adjutant general in 1831. He entered politics in 1842 when he became a member of the state assembly and his election to the U.S. Senate came just three years later. After an unsuccessful gubernatorial bid in New York he briefly served as assistant U.S. treasurer. “Franklin Pierce in 1853 intended to make him secretary of state, but party enemies interfered, and when he was offered the post of minister to France, this also was snatched from him by Southern opposition,” (DAB). In January 1861 Dix was appointed President Buchanan’s secretary of the treasury but shortly thereafter, as many men of his age, he reentered the military at the outbreak of the Civil War, serving from 1861 to 1865 and rising to the rank of major general; it was Dix who suppressed the New York City Draft Riots. In 1873 he became governor of New York. Like Dix, Pierce was from New Hampshire, serving his state as senator and district attorney. He refused Polk’s offer to become U.S. attorney general in 1846, joining the military instead. After the Mexican War he won the 1852 presidential election. Our letter was written only ten days after Pierce took office and just seven days after filling his cabinet, which included Jefferson Davis as secretary of war. The subject of our letter, James W. Nye (1814-1876), was a lawyer of modest origins who became a district attorney 1839 and served as judge from 1840-1848. After an unsuccessful congressional campaign, he moved to Syracuse where he practiced law from 1851-1857, during which time our letter was written. “When Fort Sumter was fired upon, Nye became an enthusiastic supporter of Lincoln, using his remarkable gift as a stump orator in behalf of the administration, and he was soon appointed governor of the newly created territory of Nevada,” (DAB). After Nevada achieved statehood, he became the state’s representative in the Senate, returning to his native New York several years before his death. A fine letter with a three-way association. Very darkly written. Tipped to a strip on the left edge.
 
Item #13847

$600


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